Friday, August 28, 2020

Weekend Design Challenge 08282020 - No Judge Free-For-All

Happy Friday, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design parameters. With those as your guidelines, design a custom magic card. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs, and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. If I have time over the course of next week, I will try to offer some of my own feedback.

It's been a long week that still somehow passed me by way too quickly, so we're doing a free-for-all weekend. Post any card design you want, and please leave feedback for your fellow artisans, since I probably won't have the chance to next week.

If you really want a prompt, make something that reflects the impact of the Eldrazi without itself being Eldrazi. 

Have fun!


  1. Hi, so I'm nearly done with the first draft of a custom set, in which thallids play a very large role. I designed a mechanic called scatter for them, and was hoping to get a little feedback on it. An example card would be:

    Festerzone B
    Enchantment (R)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life and scatter. (Create a green Spore artifact token with "5: Transform all Spores you control into 1/1 Saproling creatures.")

    There would be two-sided Spore/Saproling tokens, and I think an exception to the rules about tokens not transforming could be written in without too much trouble.

    1. I'm getting some bitterblossom vibes here which i dig. It looks like you've captured the same essence while making it much less oppressive to play against. The flavor is also great. Thats such a gutteral name for a card, and with some great swampy/goopy art, I can see this really being a tight design.

      A few thoughts just off the top of my head: I don't think the spore tokens need to be artifacts since they wont be once they become saprolings, unless its important to the theme of the set. I like the push and pull of the mana cost being paid to flip all the spores at once, because if you drop this on turn one you're paying 5 mana on turn 5 (ideally) for 4 1/1s. And that's if this is the only scatter source (which I assume it wouldn't be). That seems pretty reasonable given something like raise the alarm or dragon fodder. I think it has perhaps a lower floor than those cards, but it definitely has a higher ceiling. Paying 5 is going to feel really nice on that first flip, but it definitely won't feel as good if you need flip 1 or 2 to get some blockers on the board.

      Overall I like the mechanic a lot. It feels fresh and well thought out. I'd be interested to see what platform you've used to plan out your custom set. I've been in the early world-building stages of one myself, but cant find a good way to organize.

    2. Thanks, I'm glad the mechanic made a good impression. I'm just using magic set editor at the moment to keep track of the cards.

    3. Thanks. By the way, I just posted the complete set over on mtgnexus at
      Check it out if you want.

  2. This is part of a set of cards I've been working on for a set that is still very conceptual. The theme is a plane that has only recently stabilized after having been created. So the whole place is bursting with life, very fresh and new. The idea is that each color would have a card like this where it drops and creatures egg counters on your lands, which you can then exchange for creature tokens of various types. Dragons for red, krakens for blue, griffins/birds for white, and then maybe oozes or snakes from black. I've reworked it from its original design where you didnt have to tap it to cash in your eggs, but with flicker effects, thats just too strong. I think the text box needs some help since its kind of clunky to have 3 separate sac trigger lines. I really like that you can get value from it no matter when you play it. There would be other egg creation/payoff cards in the set, but these token generators are supposed to be the best version of them. So once you've cashed in your initial eggs you can use it again later after some buildup.

    Wurm Warden 1GG

    Creature - Elf Shaman M

    When Wurm Warden enters the battlefield, you may put an egg counter on any number of forests you control.

    T, Remove 2 egg counters from lands you control: Create a 1/1 Green wurmling token.

    T, Remove 4 egg counters from lands you control: Create a 5/5 Green wurm token with trample.

    T, Remove 7 egg counters from lands you control: Create an 8/8 Green wurm token with reach and trample.


    Would love some help workshopping the mechanic/text box. There would need to be reminder text or a rule explicitly stating that a land cannot have more than 1 egg counter on it I think.

    1. I think you're starting off from a great point, since I love the flavor of eggs and a set that makes a lot of use of them sounds super fun. Right now, the mechanic this most reminds me of is energy. This isn't so different from a card like Whirler Virtuoso, where some number of cards give you energy and then you can spend them on tokens.

      It seems like the main difference is that you want this to be limited by the number of lands you control. That seems a little risky, as it encourages players to blow up each other's lands, which isn't fun. Instead of putting egg counters on lands, you could do something like:

      "You gain an egg counter for each forest you control (You can't have more egg counters than lands you control)"

      I dunno if that's what you want though. It's also even more similar to energy at that point. Regarding Wurm Warden's text box, it seems difficult to shorten without losing at least some of the functionality. One suggestion could be:

      T, Remove X egg counters: Create an X/X green Wurm creature token. If X was four or higher, it has trample. If X was 7 or higher, put two +1/+1 counters on it and it has reach.

    2. I think the revised text box you provided is definitely a better way to handle it. That removes a lot of the clunkiness of having leftover eggs you cant cash in. The "if" statements allow for that tiered benefit, while drastically reducing the line breaks.

      Yeah energy was definitely an inspiration here. I wanted the design space of an additional currency without some of the pitfalls that energy experienced with infinite combos and too much value. I hadn't considered the idea that it would encourage land destruction though. That's definitely something to keep an eye on. Thanks for the great feedback!

    3. Land destruction is bad enough that I don't think that's going to be a concern in any format that cares about egg counters a lot, though having counterplay against egg counters that doesn't set your opponent back on mana is important in the set so you don't get a repeat of what happened with Energy.

      You could probably keep the 1/1 and 8/8 and lose the 5/5 and still have an impactful and exciting card.

      If you want to keep egg counters to 1 per land, you might consider keywording it and having the keyword text indicate that the counters can only go on lands that don't have the counters already. This is nitpicky, but changing the name to "nest counters" could better explain why you need multiple of them to make one big token and why you can only have one per land.

  3. Detect Evil W
    Corrupt (Put a corruption counter on target permanent an opponent controls without a corruption counter on. Prevent all damage that would be dealt by sources with a corruption counter on unless their controller pays {1}.)

    I didn't expect to have any ideas here but then I got to thinking what would show the effect of Eldrazi, and I started thinking, a set showing a world filled with twisted lands and twisted creatures once the Eldrazi have left, and a mechanic showing that taint, but a lot of flavours based around reducing the taint. Hence this, which mechanically is a bit like extort, but flavour-wise has white uncovering the taint, not causing it.

    1. I'd be really interested to see the suite of cards that produce/remove these corruption counters. Seems like a cool Ryhstic-y mechanic.

      Does the Corrupt keyword do all of the things in the parenthesis? Seems like it might make more sense to have the instant text put the counter on a permanent and then the reminder text say prevent all damage...

      What other kinds of cards would use the Corrupt keyword? I think its a neat way to show the lingering Eldrazi influence.

  4. Perpetual General 2WW
    Creature - Human Soldier
    Campaign Veterancy. (If this creature is on the battlefield at the end of a game and you do not sideboard between games, you may start next game with it into play)


    Perpetual General 2WW
    Creature - Human Soldier
    Campaign Veterancy - creatures you control have +1/+1 for each game you have played against this opponent this round.

    1. An interesting design space! Reminds me of some of the early "un" set cards. I like the staying on the battlefield effect better than incremental power based on number of games played. I think it would depend on other mechanics in the set working in similar ways to keep things balanced, but this is definitely space that has a rich vein worth tapping i think.